How to control your food budget – tested strategies

I believe that quality food doesn’t always have to be expensive. Over the years, I have experimented with different budget saving strategies. For as long as I can remember, at different stages in my life, whether as a college student, young professional, married woman or mother, I have always been striving to optimizing my costs and making wise shopping decisions.

Today I am more concerned about cost-control than ever and here are some things that have worked well for me:

  • Picture your week. I allocate roughly 1 hour to plan our meals for the week. This is such a time-saver because it helps me better anticipate our shopping list for the week and it makes the trip to the supermarket much faster, sort of a go-and-get-what-you-need type of thing.
  • Look for sales and think seasonal. This is a no brainer: cupons, offers, fresh seasonal produce….the whole deal.
  • Shop your pantry. When you start planing your weekly meals, start with your pantry. Maybe that can of peas you have sitting there can be your starting point for a meal. Doing this is also great for less stocking on things.
  • Recycle. Make extra portions and either save for lunch next day or freeze. Works great with lasagnas, baked casseroles, etc.
  • Mix things up. Keep the menu interesting by planning using inspirations. The Internet is full of recipe ideas. I use Pinterest a lot to get inspired. After planning your meals for a while, you can alternate new recipes and old favorites.

I am all about simplicity and freshness and I hope this will inspire you to monitor and plan in advance for your food spendings.

If you want to get all fancy about meal planning, you can download apps that will help with the process. I am a traditional pen and paper type of girl, but I found Tesco’s and Whole Foods‘ meal planners to be quite compelling.

Stay healthy and happy savings!

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